Tag Archives: Traci L. Slatton

Traci L. Slatton – Interview

Thanks to the powers that be, I was sent an e-interview with Traci L. Slatton author of Immortal. If you haven’t already, please check out my review and giveaway of a copy to one lucky winner!

Q&A for Traci Slatton
Author of Immortal

1. Tell us about your book, Immortal.

Immortal is a rags-to-riches-to-burnt-at-the-stake story. It’s a journey of spirit and an education of the heart. That said, it’s the story of a mysteriously gifted street urchin who undergoes the darkest moments possible and still goes on to find true love, deep friendship, hope, faith, and ultimately the deepest secrets of his origins.

2. Why did you write this book?

I love to tell stories! I was working on a non-fiction book about science and spirituality. ( Piercing Time & Space, ARE Press, Virginia Beach, VA: 2005.) It was fascinating research, but I found myself longing to write fiction, to create characters and wrap myself around adventure, conflict, and obstacle. Story lust drove me.

3. The book takes place in Florence during the Renaissance: What inspired you to choose this setting?

This goes back to the previous question. Renaissance Florence is a character in this novel–it’s inextricably interwoven into the story. It’s why I wrote THIS book. More explicitly, I am married to Sabin Howard, who is one of the foremost classical figurative sculptors working today. (www.sabinhoward.com) Think Michelangelo’s work: that’s what my husband’s work resembles. Moreover, Sabin is half-Italian; his mother is from Torino and he is completely fluent in the language. So, for him, Renaissance Italy is alive and well. It’s a part of our everyday discourse. I was always interested in Renaissance art but it’s become a passion because of living with Sabin.

Also, Florence between 1300 and 1500 was an intense and extraordinary place, almost unequalled in history. Art, philosophy, learning, commerce, banking, and government were all burgeoning and concentrated into this small city, making it the center of Europe. Out of Florence radiated invention and innovation. One of the popes called it “The fifth element of the universe.” Only Paris between the two world wars comes close to the fervor of creativity that was taking place in Florence during the Renaissance. It’s a powerful time to write about.

Continue reading


Immortal – Review & My first giveaway contest!

Immortal Immortal
by Traci L. Slatton
Bantem Dell, 2008
ISBN 9780385339742
513 pages

Immortal by Traci L. Slatton is a story of 180 year old Luca Bastardo. The novel traces his life from his childhood as an orphan on the streets of Florence to his death through a first person narrative. When he was barely ten years old, Luca was sold into a brothel by one of his best friends. Until then, Luca had been living on the streets, struggling to survive. Luca managed to survive in the brothel despite the violence inflicted upon him and the other children by the sadistic Bernardo Silvano as well as all the patrons patronizing the brothel. Slatton is not graphic on the physical details of the rape and sodomy that takes place, but rather focuses on the emotional damage, and Luca’s struggle to stay sane and strong in order to support himself and the other children held prisoner. Luca finally manages to escape Silvano and Florence, albeit temporarily, after the Black Plague struck. As Luca grows, he comes into contact with some Italy’s finest creators. Luca befriended Giotto, he saved Cosimo de Medici from kidnappers, tutored Leonardo da Vinci and befriended Botticelli. In his lifetime, Luca has the form of many professions, often striving to help the innocent and the poor in any way he can, while still trying to keep the mystical aura surrounding him from attracting unwanted attention. Luca attempts to learn about his origins and some explanation as to why he does not age as everyone else does. Luca tries to find out about his past, although the members of the Silvano family tree haunts his every step through his life.

What I like about this novel, is that Slatton was able to keep her writing elegant, detailed, but not overly dramatic or graphic. At times the dialog felt cliche and forced. It is really in Part 2 of the novel when Slatton’s talent is at its peak, and you are sucked into the Italian Renassiance, witnessing some of the most historic events in Italy’s history through the eyes of one of the world’s oldest men. Slatton is very accurate with the historical detail of Italy in the 1300s and 1400s. Her writing is very fluid and each chapter melds into each other before you realize you’ve read nearly half the book in a few short hours. You develop a sympathy with not only Luca, but with all of Italy through Slatton’s discussion of philosophy and religion and the simple act of finding love and happiness, two of Luca’s biggest struggles to achieve.


That being said, I would like to host my first giveaway of a copy of Immortal to celebrate 6 months of book blogging! I can’t believe I started blogging only six months ago at the beginning of February. I feel as if I’ve been reviewing books much longer than that.

Contest rules:

All you have to do is comment and tell me which historic person of the 20th Century you would like too meet. Comments must be posted by August 15th 11:59pm. You can also receive extra entries for blogging about this giveaway. Please check back on August 16th to see who the winner is!